8 Ways To Stay Active To Manage Your Diabetes Without Going To The Gym

8 Ways To Stay Active To Manage Your Diabetes Without Going To The Gym

Introduction Existing research has already addressed the association between low physical activity, obesity, and diab


Existing research has already addressed the association between low physical activity, obesity, and diabetes. As shown in an assessment on obesity prevalence in Canada that:

  • According to recorded height and weight statistics from 2007-2009, one out of four Canadian adults is obese. Obesity affects 8.6% of children and adolescents aged six to seventeen.
  • Physical activity, food, social level, ethnicity, immigration, and environmental factors are all variables that influence obesity.
  • In 2009-2010, over half (45.2%) of Canadians aged 12 and older admitted being physically inactive.
exercises for people with diabetes


Why Exercise Is Important

Greater cardiac and respiratory efficiency, better vitality, improved blood glucose control, lower insulin resistance, improved lipid profile, blood pressure (BP) management, and weight loss stabilization are just a few of the benefits of physical activity for diabetes.

Diabetes exercises, in addition to pharmacological treatment and dietary therapy, are an effective therapeutic tool for people with diabetes. Aerobic exercise is a long-term activity that enhances oxygen intake, supply, and use in the body and it has been demonstrated to be effective in the prevention and management of diabetes. 

Great Exercises For People With Diabetes Without Going To The Gym

a. Walk

Sitting for long periods can cause metabolic changes in the body, such as insulin resistance, which might cause Type 2 Diabetes. The researchers suggest that walking is a preventive strategy against the development of diabetes and a means of achieving the necessary level of physical activity for diabetes prevention and treatment.

A great way to get started with something new is to take it slowly, set achievable targets, and commit to walking for at least 15 minutes every day at the same time.

b. Yoga & Meditation

Yoga and meditation are great types of exercise for diabetes at home and are thought to be both promising and cost-effective approaches for the prevention of diabetes. The different poses used in yoga sessions help improve -cell sensitivity to glucose, which enhances insulin production, and boosts blood supply to the body, and relaxes the muscles, which improves glucose absorption.

You can practice yoga at home with the help of videos or free tutorials. Although most varieties of yoga are safe, it is advised that you approach and exit poses carefully, pausing for a breath while doing so.

yoga and meditation at home

c. Dance To Your Favorite Song

The uniqueness of dancing is that you don't feel like you're working out. Dancing keeps you active, boosts your fitness, enhances your mood and energy level, and aids with blood glucose control. You can dance around the house or with a friend in a dance class like Zumba.

Like any other type of physical activity, it can result in developing foot ulcers and wounds, for that reason, it is important to keep an eye on your feet on a frequent basis.

d. At-Home Cycling

Yes, cycling is a great exercise choice, and if you are new, it can pose risk to several health issues, so here are a few things to know:

  • Keep in mind to track your blood sugar levels when cycling so your blood sugar doesn't drop as you exert more energy.
  • It would then be fine to take a small amount of sugar after 20-30 minutes of cycling. Yet, as usual, it is better to consult with your healthcare provider for detailed diabetes management guidance when cycling.
  • People with diabetes should avoid any skin injuries since they might become infected and cause painful sores.
An old woman doing cycling

e. Climb Stairs

Three minutes of stair climbing one or two hours after meals is recommended for people with diabetes to help reduce post-meal blood sugar levels. However, exercising on stairs may increase the chance of falling in older and obese people, especially those with diabetes-related complications like diabetic retinopathy (visual disturbances), diabetic neuropathy (impaired sensory, motor, and autonomic nervous system), and cardiovascular diseases.

f. Gardening

Gardening is considered as a form of moderate-intensity physical activity, and there are a variety of garden tasks that need the use of both the upper and lower body, like those of digging, mixing soils, transplanting seedlings, and raking. A research study reports that the different gardening tasks burn between 250 and 500 calories per hour. This means that 3 hours of gardening might be equivalent to a one-hour session at the gym.

g. Tai Chi

Tai Chi is one of China's most unique traditional workouts. It is a mixture of physical exercise and respiration that incorporates limb movement and the mind, allowing people to experience both physical and mental pleasure while exercising. Tai chi is also suitable for older diabetics with a weakened constitution and chronic conditions, and in Type 2 Diabetes or Type 1 patients, it can effectively lower blood glucose levels after exercising.

people doing Tai Chi

h. Swimming

In a number of studies, swimming has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and help regulate blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes or Gestational diabetes.

You do not have to go to the pool to practice swimming, you can either set up a backyard pool or outdoor kiddie pool or you can do simple yoga moves inspired by swimming. 

How Much Is Enough For A Diabetic Person

People with diabetes should aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week, and that's only 30 minutes a day. We're not talking about going to the gym and working out until you're completely exhausted. We're talking about brisk walking, dancing, or moderate yoga sessions five times a week.

So, whether you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, find something you enjoy doing and dedicate 30 minutes to it five days a week. That will make a big difference in diabetes control.

How To Stick With Your Exercise Plan

a. Take Baby Steps When Beginning An Exercise Routine

Getting in shape is not about lacing up new running shoes or joining a long-distance race. Start with baby steps. Walking is an easy and safe activity for most diabetics. From that point, you can move gradually up to more intense exercise.

Since you're not used to being active, begin with 10 minutes of walking every day, then set a comfortable pace and gradually increase by three to five minutes each day.


b. Choose A Physical Activity You Enjoy Doing

Your first step toward a lifestyle of healthy regular exercise is to figure out what works for you. Consider what type of exercise you enjoy doing the most, as well as what fits your lifestyle, schedule, and fitness level.

c. Use The Buddy System To Increase Accountability

Finding someone who has the same or similar goals as you will provide an extra level of motivation or inspiration to help you get started on your plan. Your friend will pick you up when you're down, celebrate your achievement, and support you to continue to finish what you started. 

d. Reward Yourself With Healthy Treats For Breaking A Sweat

Even if they are short-term, achieving your exercise goals is a cause of celebration. It shows your dedication to attempting to improve your fitness. Make sure your reward is memorable and delightful, and avoid rewards that you may regret later, like eating ice cream and unhealthy foods.

Reward Yourself With Healthy Treats

e. Prep For Your Workouts In Advance

Look for ways to boost your performance to meet your targets. Before exercising, fueling your body with the essential nutrients will provide you with the energy and strength you need to function better. Besides that, drinking water is the key to keeping a good hydration level, particularly while exercising in hot weather.

f. Check Your Blood Sugar Before & After Exercise

Learn how your body reacts to different types of exercises. Checking your blood sugar levels before and after you exercise, may help you observe how your body reacts to certain activities. Mednow virtual care service offers a licensed physician to help you understand these patterns to prevent you from getting extremely high or low blood sugar levels. 


Exercise is thought to have an essential role in diabetes prevention and treatment. All forms of exercises are effective, especially when practicing an activity you love makes it easier to stick to your goals. It can be difficult at first to change your way of life and you may need to restart a few times; this is why you should find a partner to keep you motivated and encourage you to continue practicing.

 Based on the most recent studies, most individuals require 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical exercise each week. Finally, start slowly, create a weekly schedule, and talk to your healthcare provider for any guidance before exercising.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as medical or other professional advice. A healthcare provider should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services is expressly given or implied by Mednow or its affiliates.

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